Customer loyalty is a game changer. Take a look at successful loyalty programs like Marriott Rewards, Delta Sky Miles, My Starbucks Rewards, Speedy Rewards, Rewards in a Flash and Certified Savings. These are all established programs that acknowledge their best customers, reward them for their existing behavior and provide greater rewards to improve their shopping habits. If having a customer focused organization is a key part of your strategy, designing an affordable electronic program to connect with your top customers is a must.
The primary benefit of any loyalty program is first and foremost to retain your customers. If you start a loyalty program with the expectations that customers will flock to your business, you will surely be disappointed. Loyalty is a customer centric strategy that starts with customer identification and retention and then shifts to behavior modification. Attracting new customers to your store(s) requires more conventional techniques such as advertising, sales promotions, re-imaging, and community outreach. Social media sites like facebook and twitter are becoming a popular way to engage current customers to tell their friends and family about your company, its great employees, loyalty program and the great deals you offer.
Each of your customers has a limited number of dollars and visits they will make to c-stores each month. Loyalty programs help you to capture a greater share of your customers spend and visits to our category of trade. Loyalty reports, for well designed and executed programs, like those mentioned above, show how the average loyalty customer monthly spend and number of visits trend up over time. Making loyalty a key part of your overall marketing strategy and tying it into other emerging trends like social media, texting, coalition building and mobile couponing will set you apart from most competitors and position your company to grow its sales.